First time Jack Benny was on radio??

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Posted ByJim Hilliker on November 30, 2002 at 12:54:46:

Hello. I guess nobody was able to answer my question about whether Kenny Baker started on KGER or KFOX radio in Long Beach, so I'll submit this question and information I have.

When was the first time that Jack Benny spoke over the radio? I had always heard that it took place in 1932 on a nationally broadcast program hosted by newspaper columnist Ed Sullivan from New York.

But, in doing some of my radio history research of early radio in Southern California, I see that Jack took part in a radio broadcast in 1930 in Los Angeles, over Hollywood station KFWB (owned by Warner Brothers Pictures). This was 2 years before he did the Sullivan radio show.

I'll quote from the ad printed in the Los Angeles Times on April 26, 1930:

"Tune in Tonight! Hear Eddie Cantor, Al Jolson, Jack Benny, Benny Rubin, George Olsen, Abe Lyman, Ben Bernie, and scores of other stars of the stage and screen.

One of the greatest arrays of talent ever paraded before the microphone is offered you tonight when the
National Vaudeville Association Benefit Show will be
broadcast from Shrine Auditorium over KFWB, starting at
8:30 p.m. Dont miss it!

Program broadcast through the courtesy of Packers of MJB Coffee"

What would Jack have done on this program? His vaudeville act? And would this have been different than the Jack Benny we became familiar with through his later radio and TV programs on his own shows?

Jim Hilliker
Monterey, CA

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